MEDICAL EVALUATION & SERVICES
While it may not be required for every facility that completes Autism evaluations, most facilities do require some sort of referral before completing an evaluation. Typically those referrals would come for your child's Pediatrician or health care provider. Therefore, typically your first step in getting an Autism evaluation is seeing your child’s doctor, expressing your concerns, and requesting a referral for an evaluation. It is often helpful to write down all of your concerns prior to the appointment and bring that with you, to ensure you tell them everything. The characteristics of Autism can vary widely, and therefore, a child having some of the characteristics does not necessarily mean that child has Autism. However, if your child is showing some of those characteristics, we encourage you to discuss that with your child's doctor.
The Autism Society of North Louisiana cannot recommend or endorse any specific diagnostic facility or service. We have compiled a list of area services that provide Autism evaluations. *This may not be an all inclusive list, but we did our best in researching area services and will add to this list as they become known/available.*
Healthpoint Center/Terry Thomas | 1818 Avenue of America | (318) 998-2700
Earl H. Baker/Candi Hill | (318)323-8700 | 1501 Stubbs Avenue, Monroe La 71201
Dr. David Williams | (318) 998-3511 | 1410 Royal Avenue, Monroe La 71201
Autism Diagnostic Center and Psychological Services | (318) 865-2764 | 2920 Knight Street, Ste 130
Children’s Center at LSU Shreveport | (318) 813-2960 | 1415 Claiborne Avenue, Shreveport La., 71105
Behavior Specialists of Louisiana | (318) 300-3560 | 925 Olive Street, Shreveport La, 71104
Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital | (225) 374-4325 | 8300 Constantin Blvd, Baton Rouge La, 70809
Please submit any additional evaluation providers through email to AutismNorthLa@gmail.com
COMMONLY REFERRED THERAPIES
Diagnosed with Autism; now what?
After the diagnosis
Know that you are not alone! Most of us at the ASNLA have been there, and we are ALL here for you! Hopefully, the facility that completed the evaluation recommended therapies tailored to your child’s needs if applicable. Unfortunately, referral for additional services doesn’t always take place. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to Autism interventions. Not every therapy/intervention is appropriate for every child or adult with Autism. Each child with Autism will benefit from a therapy program tailored to their unique needs; therefore, the ASNLA can not recommend any particular therapy or endorse any specific service providers. *While this is not an all-inclusive list of any and all potential intervention services for Autism, these services (or evaluation of need for these services) are often recommended following a diagnosis of Autism and are available in North Louisiana. Please see the additional links for more possible interventions*
APPLIED BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS (ABA) THERAPY
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
ABA is defined as using the principles and science of behavior theory to meaningfully improve skills with communication, social skills, adaptive living skills, etc. In order to receive ABA therapy, your child typically will have to have an additional evaluation from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) after receiving an Autism Diagnosis. The BCBA evaluation will determine the need for ABA therapy and what the therapy program should consist of, based on your child's unique needs. Most facilities do require a referral for this evaluation as well, but this could vary from clinic to clinic. Usually you can call the office and find out their referral methods.
The Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based – DIR – intervention model, also known as Floor Time™, is centered around improving connections with parents/caregivers or play partners as a basis to improve language skills, social skills and to reduce repetitive behaviors. To our knowledge, this is not as widely available in our area as ABA is. There was one provider listed in Shreveport, which is listed on the Therapy Resources page.
David McMillian | (318) 227-9002 | 1800 Buckner Street, Suite C-200 Shreveport, LA 7110
SOCIAL SKILLS THERAPY/SOCIAL GROUPS
Social Skills therapies/Social Groups
Social skills are targeted through the above listed therapies; Speech-Language Therapists also specialize in improving social skills. Additionally, many ABA clinics in North Louisiana, also offer social skills groups. The Speech-Language Pathology Department at the University of Louisiana at Monroe also offers social skills groups.
SPEECH, OCCUPATIONAL & PHYSICAL THERAPY
A Speech-Language Pathologist, or Speech Therapist, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of articulation (speech sounds), language (including social language), feeding/swallowing issues, and voice/resonance. Speech Therapist often work with children with Autism to improve pragmatic (social language skills), as well as any co-occurring issues with others areas of communication.
Occupational Therapists specialize in assisting individuals in improving their ability to interact with their environment throughout daily activities. Occupational Therapists work with such a wide range of skills. These areas include, but are not limited to: self care (such as ability to dress self, toileting), sensory processing issues, fine-motor skills (such as grasping, writing, ability to use fasteners, etc), visual integration/processing, emotional regulation skills, etc.
Physical Therapists specialize in how the body moves in order to complete daily tasks effectively. Like Occupational Therapists, they diagnose and treat a variety of issues. Physical Therapists specialize in improving stamina, balance, gross motor skills, motor imitation, coordination, and more. Since children with Autism sometimes also have co-occurring difficulties in these areas, Physical Therapists are often a part of the multi-disciplinary team that serves a child with Autism.
Children with Autism at times also have co-occurring difficulty within the areas that Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists treat. Therefore, those therapists are often a part of the multi-disciplinary team that serve a child with Autism. There are various multi-disciplinary therapy clinics throughout North Louisiana, most of which having all 3 of those therapies within one facility.